Sunday, December 23, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

My TV Debut!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be featured in a short interview this Sunday on ESPN, during the broadcast from the WPBA Tour Championship (where I finished 9th.)

The programming airs between 1pm and 4pm EST.

There will be 30 seconds of me somewhere in those three hours!

Hope you tune in!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm This Many

Happy Birthday to me... Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me-e...
Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Starting Over

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

I am just thrilled with how my WPBA season ended (a 17th Place and then a 9th Place), but now it is time to get back to work.

Since my tendonitis debacle began, I have not been able to practice as many hours as I would like. It was okay for a while, but now my game is starting to slide. I am excited to start over fresh, however. I will be forced to go back to basics for a while and that usually ends up making me stronger!


Saturday, November 10, 2007

On to the Final Sixteen

For the first time ever I have made it to the final sixteen!

After losing my match to Ga Young Kim last night (9-5), I came back this morning and beat Dawn Hopkins (9-5), bringing my record to 4 and 1.

I play tonight at 7pm (don't know who yet!) I am so excited!


Friday, November 9, 2007

Still on a Roll...

I won my match against Lisa D'Atri 9 to 4 bringing my match record to 3 and 0.
Tonight I play Ga Young Kim at 6 pm!


Today Was a Good Day!

I am happy to report that I won my match against Megan 9 to 5 and am now 2 and 0 in the round-robin stage!

So many exclamation points!!!

I had a lovely massage after I played tonight and now I am ready to get a good night's sleep. I play Lisa D'Atri tomorrow at 11am.



Thursday, November 8, 2007

Super quick update 'cause I have to play again...

I was fortunate to scrape by with a 9-8 win over Melissa Herndon, after being down 8-5. Unfortunately, she and I never seem to play well when we play each play each other. Just one of those weird match dynamics things.

I am about to go warm up for my 6pm match against Megan Minerich.

I'll give another update after the evening session.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thank You, Steve Tipton!

Earlier today, at the WPBA's annual banquet, I was honored to receive the Tournament Director's Award. This award is traditionally given, by Tournament Director Steve Tipton, to the player who displays the highest standard of professional conduct in and out of the arena.

I am truly blown away (and a little weepy) to be recognized in this way. Especially after I flipped Steve the bird during the last tournament (oh yes, I did!) Thanks again, Steve, it really means a lot to me :)

In tournament news, here are the other players in my round-robin group:

Ga Young Kim
Melissa Herndon
Megan Minerich
Dawn Hopkins
Lisa D'Atri

My first match is against Melissa, tomorrow at 1pm.

Wish me luck!


I'm iced-out, yo!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lincoln City, Oregon

Gorgeous, ain't it?

I am here at Chinook Winds Casino, on the Oregon Coast, for the WPBA Nationals.

This event will be in round-robin format (race to nine, alternating break) with 48 players total (eight groups of six players.) The top two players from each group will advance to a 16-player, single-elimination bracket.

I am going to attempt to give periodic updates on my progress as the tournament goes on. It brought me good luck last time and you know how superstitious pool-players can be.

I'm also going to try to figure out how to use CueTable so that I can start posting shots and drills on this blog.

'Til Tomorrow,


While in Oregon, just be careful to stay upwind of the hippies.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Hey all,

I just wanted to give everyone a sneak preview of my sexy new photo shoot! It's scheduled to appear in next month's issue of Splint Fancy.

It is a little racy... but I say "Girls! Flaunt it while you got it!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Back to Work!

A couple of things have happened to me to keep me from the table since I got back from the Midwest Classic.

First - I finally served my jury duty which I had been postponing for a year and a half. I was chosen as a juror for a robbery and grand larceny case in criminal court. The jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision and the judge granted a mistrial. I can't believe I have to wait four years before I get to do it again :)

Similarities to "Law and Order" included lots of objections and approaching the bench, overly-dramatic attorneys, and a judge who impartially applied withering sarcasm (complete with eye-roll) to everyone in the court.

Second - A few blogs ago I made joke about my growing resemblance to a fiddler crab because of all the strenuous activities I was performing with my right arm (breaking, demolition, etc.) The joke is on me, however, because I've developed tendonitis in my right wrist. Good one, universe! ROFLMAO, while clutching my swollen wrist! LOL!

The good news is that after two weeks off from playing, and deciding to hire someone to redo the bathroom, my wrist is getting better. I am back at work on my game (minus the break) and going to physical therapy to give myself the wrists of a champion!

- - - - - - - - -

In lieu of a more detailed account of my tournament in Oklahoma, which I promised in my last post, here is a summary statement: Although I did not feel that I was hitting the balls to best of my ability, I was very pleased with my attitude and focus. I worked very hard to stay positive throughout the tournament and to give 100% to every shot. I have to say that this got harder and harder to do as the tournament went on and I got more fatigued. This is something that I have to work on. I am hoping that with regular practice the skills will get easier to maintain over longer periods of time.



R.I.P. Elliott Smith. These are a few of his songs. He made the sad kids happy.

Powered by

Saturday, October 6, 2007

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Sadly, I lost to Jasmin Ouschan 9-5. Not my best performance, best attitude or best focus, but I am thrilled with how I performed throughout the tournament and with my 17th place finish. I have to run and catch my plane home. I will give a more detailed account when I get home. Thanks for tuning in!


Still Standing

I was unable to give an update after my 6pm match with Leslie Anne Rogers, last night, because I won (9-5) and had to prepare to play again! At 10 pm I played Melissa Morris and won (9-7.)

The last two matches were grind-fests. The pool was far from perfect and it came down to who had more stamina and could make fewer mistakes. Not the most fun way to play but it happens! I was exhausted by the end of it since I had been in focus-mode from about 1pm until 1am.

I got a good night's sleep, which I will need since I face the very tough Jasmin Ouschan at 2pm.

Wish me luck!


Friday, October 5, 2007

Success in Attitude and Results

Just a really quick update:

I won my match against Alice Rim 9-6. I started off very strong and held the lead for the entire match although I tightened up as I got nearer to the finish line. It was a definite struggle against myself, but I was able to calm my nerves and fears in order to finish the job.

I play Leslie Anne Rogers tonight at 6pm. I am recharging myself right now so that I can give an energetic and focused performance tonight. My main goal is still to feel the joy of the game and not the fear.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Got Second Place in My Match

I wish I had better results to report, but I lost my match today, to #11-ranked Sarah Ellerby, 9-7.

Sarah played very well and got some good fortune and I found myself down 8-4. I spent most of my match up until that point in the chair as I had relatively few offensive opportunities. A couple of things rolled my way and I was able to run out a few racks to bring the match to 8-7. In the final game I sold out on a kick shot that I hit a smidge too firmly and Sarah ran out.

The good news is that I felt great at the table today and that I was able to remain calm, positive and motivated despite the fact that I faced some adversity. It is easy to love the game and remain positive when you are winning, but it takes heart to have the same attitude when it is an uphill battle. I won the contest against myself by being able to feel the way that I wanted to feel and it showed in my confident play.

On to tomorrow....

I face my friend Alice Rim at 1pm in the elimination bracket.

My goal is not only to carry my positive attitude with me tomorrow, during my match, but to maintain it post-tournament regardless of my results.

Wish me luck... My fifteen minutes are up..


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wednesday Night or Why Steve Lipsky is Brilliant

UPDATE: I play my first match tomorrow afternoon at 3pm Central Time against Sarah Ellerby. I am heading off to get a good night's sleep, but before I go I will leave you with some deep thoughts from my friend and pool-player-extraordinaire Steve.

The following was posted on the azbilliards forums a few days ago. A "Googan", by the way, has been best-described as a "Severe Pool Nerd."

The top 20 list of "You Might Be A Googan If"

20) You know what "squirt" is

19) Even though you stink at 9-ball, sometimes you play 10-ball for the added challenge

18) You have fireside chats about deflection

17) You're convinced the only thing keeping you from playing better is a Z-dot shaft

16) You make mental calculations in your head based on if you are using a blue-dot cueball or a
red-dot cueball

15) You're always up on the latest cutting-edge technology of tips

14) You're certain every week you've discovered the secret to pool, and it always involves changing your mechanics

13) You practice on tight pocket tables and rarely come within a diamond of making anything

12) You wonder, for no reason whatsoever, what the right game is between Jeremy Jones and Corey Deuel

11) You rush into pool rooms with the latest info on tournaments

10) You can name every material used in every stick you see

9) You stay close to anybody resembling a pro player, telling anybody else who asks, "Oh, we're friends."

8) You buy a new cue every other week and never sell the previous one

7) You have pictures at home of you and pro players, arms on shoulders, you with a goofy smile, them looking like they can't wait to get away

6) You know who won the 1992 Bicycle Club Casino event

5) You ever posted or replied to a message titled "what cues do the pros use?"

4) You say things like "You shoot a good stick", or "You're a good shot"

3) You wear a magnetic chalk holder when you play

2) You regularly get your shafts googaned (cleaned)

And the #1 sign that you might be a googan:

1) You refer to filipino players by their nicknames (bata, django, etc)

My response:

Outing Myself

Steve - During our conversation last night at Amstercorn, I thought 3 items applied to me. Turns out it's only #14 and #16. However, I bring my own measle ball with me to the pool hall and sometimes, at home, I meditate while looking at it...I really wish I were kidding...

Steve replies:

Good God woman, you carry your own measle ball! I hereby decree you to be, "Liz, Queen Googan of the Googanites".Seriously, that is an insanely high level of googanosity. - Steve

Always seeing the glass as half-full, I reply:

Cool...I always wanted to be royalty...


WPBA Midwest Classic

I am here in Norman, Oklahoma for the WPBA Midwest Classic. I thought I would try something new, this time, and share my experiences here as the tournament goes on, with daily updates.

Since I am limited to 15 minutes at a time on the hotel computer, I will have to play it kind of fast and loose, so I appollogize in advance for the inevititable typoos.

So here I go:
I have been struggling with anxiety lately and it has been negatively affecting my attitude towards pool. I realized last week that I felt fear every time I came to the table. I had to remind myself that my anxiety was due to the fact that I was perceiving competitive situations as threats and not as opportunities to learn and enjoy myself.

Since I have addressed the source of my fears and given myself permission to be free from pressure, I have been enjoying the game again. I am really looking forward to this tournament as an opportunity to transcend my negative emotions and feel the joy that comes from playing without self-pressure.

Today is practice and the Player's meeting and tournament play starts tomorrow. I'll be back tonight for an update.

Also, I am thrilled to see that Thorsten Hohmann has started a blog and that he is sharing some of his training programs online. Very cool!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fambly Time

Today I am headed out to South Central Oregon to spend some QT with my family. The famb and I will be going to Crater Lake and renting a house in Ashland (I hear rumors of a hot tub.)

Nothing particularly interesting has been happening chez Ford in the past couple of weeks. I have been hitting 40 breaks per day. I have also been demolishing my bathroom.

I have been doing this:

With these:

And between all those breaks and swinging a hammer I will soon look like one of these:


Liz "Fiddler Crab" Ford

Friday, August 31, 2007

What a year...

Between The Joss Turning Stone Classic VII and Turning Stone Classic IX (one calendar year), I played in 45 tournaments. Here is the breakdown: 8 Women's Pro Events, 1 Tri-State Tour Event, 3 Major 14.1 Events, 2 Women's State events, 8 Joss NE Tour events, and a whopping 23 Blaze Pro-Am Tour events.

I am officially patting myself on the back.

Last year, at the event in Las Vegas, I asked Mike Davis for advice about how to become a better player. I like talking with Mike because he is brutally honest when he talks about pool. For example, I once said to him: "I'm thinking about playing John-Doe-over-there. What do you think about his game?" His reply: "That guy? He's terrible. Yeah, he sucks. You probably need the seven."

He told me that if I wanted to be a serious tournament player, I should play in as many tournaments as possible. Ok. Seemed pretty obvious. Then he mentioned that he plays in as many as 50 tournaments a year. In my head, the advice went from "Play in as many tournaments as possible" to "Play in as many tournaments as is physically possible."

Looking at this past year, I would have to say that Mike was right. Playing in that many tournaments really did help my game. I can tell that I have gotten better, other people have told me that I have gotten better and my results have gotten better. Now I might only need the eight-ball from that guy who sucks.

I am really going to enjoy this tournament-free Labor Day weekend. I have earned it.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Top Ten List #1

Growing up in the 1980's, I hold a special place in my heart for Letterman-style top-ten lists, even though the novelty of them wore off around the same time my parents bought me my first Cabbage Patch Kid.

Recently, Rob Pole -- a friend of mine and owner of Skyline Billiards -- accused me of not actually liking pool-players. I think he took offense at the phrase "degenerate scum", which I use, regularly, as a term of endearment. So, since he has been helping me with my break, I thought I would show him how truly instructive my life around pool-players has been.

Here are the top ten things I have learned at the pool hall:

10. Everybody misses sometimes
9. The fastest way to get rid of someone you don't like is to lend them money
8. You should always crack a window if you are going to sleep in your car
7. Chivalry isn't dead -- I haven't been allowed to buy a drink or open a door in about two years
6. Mullets aren't extinct, they're just endangered
5. How to combinate
4. A high-four-and-a-half is just as good as a high-five (that's a joke about the legion of pool-players that are missing fingers or parts of fingers - courtesy of Keith. Uhh... the joke is courtesy of Keith... he has nothing to do with the missing fingers... at least I don't think he does.)
3. I have a nice butt
2. Playing good is much better than playing well

and the number one thing I have learned at the pool hall...

1. It doesn't matter what you look like or how many teeth you have -- good pool is sexy


P.S. I'm not sure how or when it happened, but in the last year I, myself, have completed the transition from "person who plays pool" to "pool-player". Please pray for my soul :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gimme a Break...

Right now I am off to the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Turning Stone Classic at the Turning Stone Hotel and Casino in Verona, New York. If you see me there, come say "hi" and introduce yourself. CAUTION: If I look pissed-off, don't ask me how my match went, I am liable to hurt you.

Once I get home it will be time to do some intensive training on my break. I hit the balls about as hard as a nine-year-old girl can hit you with her red plastic purse. All kidding aside, my break is truly out of sync with the quality of the rest of my game. It often feels like I have to play twice as well in order to make up for it.


P.S. If you are anywhere near New York City this week, be sure to check out the Sang Lee International Open 3-Cushion tournament. It is being held at Carom Cafe in Flushing and will feature the world's best 3-Cushion players.

Monday, August 6, 2007


If you are a pool-player in the Mid-Atlantic United States and you have ever traveled to a tournament you will know my pain when I write these words: New Jersey Turnpike.
(Better known to me as the "f@#king New Jersey F@#kpike". Because I'm a lady.)

Over the years I have played in the Northeast Women's Tour, the Chesapeake Area Tour, the Tiger Planet Pool Tour, Maryland 14.1 events and in the Blaze Pro-Am tour. These organizations hold events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. As a New York City resident, pretty much any road trip south requires a ride on the afore-mentioned FNJFP. I estimate that I have taken at least 75 pool-related round-trip rides on the beast.

I thought that it would be fresh and clever to blog about the Turnpike. Then I searched Google with the the keywords "New Jersey Turnpike" and "hate" (also "f@#k the") and found a glut of pre-existing rants. I don't really have anything new or interesting to add to their litany of complaints so I'll just offer a little prayer for any of my pool brethren or "sistren" who might be out there on the stanky asphalt tonight.

My friend and fellow pro, Sueyen Rhee (a Virginia resident), sowed the seeds of my FNJFP hatred after her own vow never to drive the Turnpike for a pool tournament ever, ever again. A vow she recently broke in order to play in the WPBA US Open in Rhode Island. She was understandably heart-broken.

Here is a picture of us at the Florida Classic:

I think there is a creepy resemblance between us and the Shining twins:

Come play pool with us, Danny. Forever... and ever... and ever...


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thank You

Thank you to Billiards Digest for naming the #1 Female Player Site for 2007! And for calling me "charming". I will let the editor, Mason King, skate on that beer he owes me.

Thanks also to Rob Omen at for building the site.

And thank you for reading my blog!


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Getting Creative

Practice makes perfect, right? If you are struggling with cut shots, it makes more sense to get on a table and shoot cut shots for an hour than it does to wait and "practice" them when they come up in a game. When they come up in a game you want to make them not practice them.

Similarly, if you are a competitive player, you might encounter situations, not just certain shots, that will require practice. In the quest to consistently get the best performance out of yourself that you can, it is helpful to train for some of the specific situations and adversities that you routinely face.

Here is one situation that I have been struggling with lately: At WPBA events I am sometimes scheduled to play a match that starts at 10 pm and doesn't end until after midnight. The problem is that I am very keyed-up and full of adrenaline after playing and it is very hard to change gears and fall asleep so that I will be fresh in the morning. Even though I am careful about how much coffee I drink in the afternoon and I try to do relaxing things before bed, I inevitably toss and turn for hours and sleep fitfully. The next day I try my hardest to stay positive and focus but I am usually dog tired and produce a sub-par effort.

Since there are only eight pro events each year, I can't afford to "practice" playing under these circumstances while at the tournament. So, it is time to get creative and to recreate these playing conditions when I am training at home.

Here is what I have been doing (only once a week so that I get enough sleep) : I take a short nap in the afternoon followed by a couple of cups of coffee. I play some sets from about 9 pm until 1 am. I use visualization to try to get as "intense" and full of adrenaline as I would be at a Pro event. I come home and practice relaxation exercises before trying to go to sleep. I inevitably toss and turn for hours and sleep fitfully. I get up in the morning and practice visualization to energize myself and become "intense" again. Then, I go and play some more sets.

It is a strange comfort to me that I also play terribly when I recreate this situation at home. Instead of beating myself up for "dogging it" at the tournament, I realize that these are some new skills that I have to learn and practice. I also know that once I have conquered this situation in practice, I will be more familiar with it and will have more confidence in my ability to deal with it at tournaments.

I'm going back to bed now,

Photo courtesy of William Fuentes

Monday, July 9, 2007

Total Immersion

For the last two months, I have given myself over to pool completely. I am unable to talk about anything else and I'm not happy unless I am playing. This is both good and bad. Good for my game, bad for my relationships with friends and family :(

Like most pool-players, I continue to have ups and downs in performance. The ups have included some strong finishes on the Blaze Pro-Am tour and also an exciting hill-hill WPBA match with a certain Blonde Brit. And the downs... what downs? I get to play pool all day, every day, so when I look closely at it there are no real downs.

Seeking some balance, my husband and I spent the weekend visiting my parents in Vermont. I got a chance to play at Van Phan Sports in Burlington, which is one of my all-time favorite poolhalls. Van is so super-cool that she even has her own beer: Van Phan Ale. She set up a game for me while I was there so that my family could watch me in action. I got to hit them around with (and rack for) Dave Fernandez, Vermont's #1 Player.

Me and Dave at Van Phan Sports in Burlington, VT

The vacation is over now and I am ready to get back to work!


Monday, May 21, 2007

She's taken off her shoes and one of her socks...

I just returned from the EnjoyPool.Com 9-Ball Open in Las Vegas, NV.

I think it went really well...

Truth be told, I was very well-prepared mentally for this tournament but I may have sabotaged myself physically by over-training. For the past month, I have been lifting weights five days a week in hopes of looking like this. (Ughh, I don't know how long I can keep this picture posted. It's giving my husband the creeps. Me too, actually.)

All along, I have been doing this with no consequence to my tournament play. Quite the opposite, it has made me feel stronger and more full of energy while playing. I guess I have been tempting fate, though. By my third match in Vegas, even though I had been using light weights all week, my arms were so rubbery that I was missing straight-in shots by a foot (no kidding).

I had a Richie-Tenenbaum-style-full-sky-tilt meltdown in front of the crowd. Well, it probably just looked like I was playing bad and pouting, but inside my head I was breaking cues and screaming at the audience. I know that it happens to everyone, but it was still pretty embarrassing.

Luckily, I had Vegas with which to drown my sorrows. Jaeger Bombs. Room Service. More working out (yeah, I really am that dumb).

I decided that it was in my best interest to come home and play in another tournament as soon as possible. I needed to shake this experience from my head and not let it sidetrack me. I played at the Blaze event in Atlantic City over the weekend and I am happy to report that there were no incidents of violence and that my shoes stayed on the whole time.

Getting huger by the day,

P.S. Happy Anniversary Harry; I love you more than all the tunafish sandwiches in the world.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Secret to Pool Finally Revealed!

That's right, Jimmy. It is a pack of gum!

(Bad/secretly_pretty_good 80's gum, at that.)

Wait. Wha? Gum?

Here's a little background info: I really am a loyal viewer of Dr. Phil. I learned from Dr. Frank Lawlis, a regular Dr. Phil contributer, that chewing gum can help your coordination during physical activities by giving you a rhythm to which to perform. So, I decided to try it out on the pool table.

For the past couple of weeks I have been chewing gum during tournaments and I have come to this bizarre conclusion: Chewing gum while I play actually turns me into a different person, and one who is a significantly better pool-player. I get this cocky jaunt while I am at the table, chompin' away at my gum and I feel like a bratty little teenager who doesn't care whom she is playing, she only knows she wants to beat the crap out of somebody. (While being a completely respectful adult opponent and good sport, natch.)

Now, I am not a fan of the gum "look". I think masticating like a cow in public is severely trashy. Think Britney Spears in a television interview. Smack, smack, smack. But, as a glove-wearer, I am clearly willing to put vanity aside in order to play better. Daintily enjoying half a stick of Dentyne for breath-freshening purposes just doesn't cut it, I have to be on the total chaw.

Gum. Yeah, that's what I said. Smack.


P.S. I beat Earl.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Little Vac'ay and Some Site Feedback

Hey everyone, I am here in sunny Riverside, California, spending some time with my in-laws, recuperating from the WPBA San Diego Classic. I felt great at this event but I had some pool-fortune giveneth and some pool-fortune takeneth-ed away. With a bit of luck I emerged victorious in a well-played hill-hill match in the first round only to end up on the other side of that luck in another well-played hill-hill match on the B-side. Just one of those opportunities <...gritting teeth...> to pay more attention to the positives (the quality of my play and valuable lessons learned) and less attention to the results <...bile rising in throat>.

In other news, it's great to know that there are folks out there reading my sporadic musings, even if 75% of them are related to me.

Here is an e-mail I received recently from my friend Bill*:

"When I was a boy, I somehow, and purely accidentally ended up with two t-shirts that had cartoon [tigers] on them. One weekend where I visited [my cousin], again purely coincidentally, I brought both of them and wore them. The [family] became convinced that I was into [tiger] t-shirts. So they bought me some. Then, since I had a bunch of them, I wore them, and then other people observed that I was "into [tiger] t-shirts" and so they bought me more. Eventually, virtually every t-shirt I owned had [tigers] on it. Seriously. It turns out that there are a lot of [tiger] t-shirts out there, and eventually I had an army of relatives who would see any [tiger] t-shirt and think "Hey, doesn't little [Bill] like to wear these things? I think I'll buy it for him!"

Eventually, the idea that I liked [tiger] t-shirts spread and morphed into the idea that I like all-things-[tiger]. So people would buy me [tiger] figurines, [tiger] drinking glasses, [tiger] stuffed animals, etc. This perception that I was into [tigers] survived well into college, where a lady friend of mine once sent me a beautiful glass [tiger] sculpture from Spain, carefully packaged and shipped. To this day, looking around the house there are probably 5 or 10 vestiges of my supposed [tiger]-fancy that are still lying around. My step-family still gets me [tiger] calendars for Christmas.
I guess what I'm saying is, be careful about accidentally giving people the wrong idea about your shirt preferences. It can quickly spiral out of your control.


all names and animals have been changed to protect the family involved


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Dreaded White-Board

I present to you the source of my motivation (and sometimes pain) : My white-board.

About six months ago, I began to feel like I needed more job satisfaction at the end of each day. I needed some sense that I was accomplishing something concrete as opposed to just having a vague feeling of "getting better".

I started setting pool, fitness and mental-training goals for myself in two-month increments. I attempt to learn new skills or refine existing skills during this time by a choosing a set number of appropriate exercises (e.g. pool drills, running, relaxation exercises) I want to accomplish.

Each night, I check off everything that I did that day on the white-board. It is very satisfying to my obsessive-compulsive brain, and is concrete proof of how much work I am doing. (Not included in the checklist are my other daily activities like "Watch Dr. Phil" and "Drink Jagermeister".)

To avoid the emotional roller-coaster of basing my worth as a player on my most recent tournament results, I try to schedule my deadlines for a week or two after a big event. This ensures that my sense of satisfaction depends on my continuing hard work and not on one performance.

At the end of the two months, I reward myself, usually at the mall, based on how hard I worked and how many of my goals I completed.

Unfortunately, I have always been a procrastinator (hem, hem.. notice how often I update my blog) and am usually behind in my own made-up world of pool goals. I try set my goals a little higher than I can comfortably achieve, because I know that even if I fall a little short, I have still accomplished more than if I had set easier goals.

So, of course I am behind this month. Time to start multi-tasking by jogging in place at the table and meditating between shots. Drinking Jagermeister while I watch Dr. Phil. I am brilliant.

Smugly self-satisfied,


Monday, April 9, 2007

Stay Tuned

There is nothing I hate more than the audacity of someone who makes a big deal about having a blog and then doesn't update the thing.


Sorry for the delay, I am still working on my next entry. It will be one where I actually talk about pool and don't just hide behind silly pictures of myself.

Full of Self-Loathing in Forest Hills,


Monday, March 26, 2007

Hard Work Works

This is the only picture I was able to find of myself at the 2007 WPBA Great Lakes Classic in Michigan City, Indiana. That's a posterior view of me at the table behind Megan Minerich.

I had a great tournament: I finished 17th-24th and beat one of the top eight players along the way.

The best part was that I knew my good play was the direct result of my hard work since the Carolina Classic. I have been putting time and effort, daily, into my mental preparation and I felt like a completely different player.

The super-duper-extra-bonus best part of this trip was that I volunteered to be bumped from my flight home in exchange for a $400 airline credit. When you're a broke poolplayer, free plane tickets are like winning the freaking lottery.

You never know with those snotty airlines, though. That credit might only be valid for travel within the state of Rhode Island. Or between the hours of 5 and 7 pm on February 29th.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nice weather we're having...

I didn't think I'd run out of things to say after only four posts.
I hope I never get so desperate that I start posting pictures of my cat.

I have been getting ready for the WPBA event in Michigan City by working hard at pool, fitness and mental conditioning. It takes a lot of positive energy and motivation to keep hard work from being boring, but it's a must if you want to keep from getting burned-out. Unfortunately, I don't have any energy left to make it sound exciting.

Here's a recap of the last week:
Daily meditation and visualization
1 hour a day of exercise
12 hours of drills
2 games of Straight-Pool
2 3-Cushion league matches
1 Nine-Ball league match
Joss Tournament at Raxx (4 Matches total)
Blaze Tournament at Castle Billiards (3 Matches total)
At least 5 more hours of miscellaneous playing
Maintained a consistently positive and intense attitude

Well... my blog will never be this boring (nor this funny).

OK, maybe just one picture of my cat.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

When Green Shirts Attack!

Apparently, I only own one shirt. Here is a sampling of pictures from 2006:

Being the vain woman that I am (have you seen how many pictures of myself I have posted on this blog?), I had my friend Rob of take some new photos of me in not-green. (See how I worked some more in? Seriously, you guys, I need a Tyra-vention.)

DVF Dress: Lovely. Art School Dropout: Fine with me. Phew! No more green outfit. I don't even own it anymore. I gave it away to Goodwill.

But wait, I just received word that the WPBA has updated their website for the upcoming year...

It isn't possible...

There's no way...

I mean, what are the chances...


Sartorially Predictable in Queens,

P.S. Thanks to Jonathan Smith, Mitch Heydt, AZ Billiards, Barbara Stock, Rob Omen, the WPBA and South Park for the photos!

The Aftermath

If it looks like I'm about to cry it's because I just returned from going two-and-out of the WPBA Carolina Classic in Rocky Mount, NC!

I had been looking forward to this event for months, but once I was there I felt very low-energy and my performance was flat and uninspired. I have been having this problem in tournaments lately, but this experience was a wake-up call.

I have been working hard on my physical skills, but mental skills also require practice. Duh to me! Why is it that we have to learn and re-learn the same lessons?

Now that the shock of the experience - and the brief suicide watch - are over, it is time to revamp my mental game and get my attitude back in check. To do so, I will be returning to my two favorite resources on the subject:

Mental Toughness Training for Sports
by James Loehr

The Achievement Zone

by Shane Murphy

These two books are helpful far beyond the world of sports. In my years of playing, I have come to realize that you are the same person at the pool table as you are in the rest of your life. Nur!

We have many diversions and defense mechanisms in our day-to-day lives which help us to cover our emotions, but pool comes along and rips off the Band-Aid. If you are anxious and fearful in pool tournaments, chances are that there are other situations in your life to which you respond with the same anxiety and fear.

Conversely, if you set out to help your pool game by learning the skills necessary to build self-confidence, motivation and a positive attitude, you will probably find that you can apply those skills to unscrew the rest of your screwy life.

It's like pool therapy. This is really why I keep playing. If I can conquer something on a pool table, I know can conquer it anywhere.

Annoyingly positive,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I have been blogging...

but now I must be on my way to the WPBA Carolina Classic in Rocky Mount, NC.

Before I go, I would like to introduce my loyal road partner. His name is Mr. Beepers.

He and I have gone a lot of places in the last year.

We've been spotted at tournaments all up and down the east coast.

We've been to St. Louis and back.

We even went for a nice drive down the sidewalk. New York was hit by a snow storm last week and Mr. Beepers was encased in a block of ice and snow that, due to snow plows, was three feet high on the left-hand side. Fortunately, the ice pile on the right-hand side (the side facing the curb) was only six inches high... And the car is small... So... Some mildly illegal, "The Italian Job"-style stunt driving ensued.

Today we are headed to North Carolina:

To the b*st#rd who put a dent in my bumper: May the fleas of a thousand camels lodge in your armpit.

Cuddly Teddy Bears and Rainbow Kisses,


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

About Me (Part One)

“My story? Okay. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi.”


I was born in Newton, Massachusetts. Back when this picture was taken, I was Lizzie Schwartzreich.

I was a figure skater from the ages of two to 16. I broke a lot of bones and my feet grew into the shape of my skates. Gross.

After graduating from Newton North High School, I moved to Portland, Oregon to attend Reed College. I have always been a highly-skilled procrastinator and I turned to pool to avoid going to class or doing any school work.

My college pool room, like most pool rooms, was a lost and found for slightly screwed-up or wacky people.

Luckily, the Reed College pool room was closed for renovation during my Junior and Senior years and I was able to graduate with a B.A. in Psychology. And yes, it does come in handy from time to time when trying to analyze my fellow pool-players. Luckily there are only a handful of sociopaths, most just have personality disorders :)

While at Reed, I met my future husband Harry Ford. He had a car and courted me by driving me to local pool halls. Since we were both shy, we used to play pool so we didn't have to talk. He swears he used to beat me (at pool). I choose not to believe him.

After college, I spent two years competing in local tournaments in the Pacific Northwest. I started qualifying for the WPBA through the now defunct ACW (Association of Cuesports for Women). I was the Player of the Year in 2000 and received invitations to two WPBA events.

On the advice of Glenn Atwell, a great player in the Northwest, I decided to leave my beloved Portland for somewhere with a more competitive pool scene. I picked New York City and moved there in February 2001.

The next few years were full of wonderful and painful learning experiences both personal and pool-related. I think I'll save those for my future posts.

For now, here are some highlights:

I earned my Touring Professional Status with the WPBA in 2005 -- one week before marrying Harry (who still had the same car.)

Viva Red Beauty!

I really like ice-cream.

I don't take myself too seriously.

I enjoy posting inappropriate pictures of myself on the internet.

Here are some arbitrary questions and answers:

Q: How long have you been playing pool?
A: I first picked up a cue in 1993. At the start I literally couldn’t hit the cueball. After playing socially in college, I started studying the game and competing locally in 1999.

Q: How old are you?; You look sixteen.
A: 31 and proud of it.

Q: What’s with the glove?
A: I am a self-hating glove wearer. Unfortunately, I would probably wear a puffy pirate shirt and an eye-patch if it would help my game.

Q: Who taught you to play?
A: A lot of people have taught me a lot of things along the way. Those who have helped me the most have been Glenn Atwell, Todd Fleitman, Mark Wilson, Holden Chin and Steve Lipsky.

Q: How many hours a day do you play?
A: 4 – 6 hours a day. Ideally, I would like to play 8-10 hours a day.

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: Not yet. Some people have suggested Ford Focus which I suppose fits. However, I don’t know how I feel about being compared to a crappy car that doesn’t go very fast. I guess it’s better than Ford Pinto.

That's all for now,